Gear 5’s PC port is a remarkable piece of work. In fact, in my opinion, it’s very, very close to being one of the best PC conversions of all-time. It builds on The Coalition’s phenomenal work on Gears 4, but goes several steps further, with graphics options and assets that even outstrip the Xbox One X version. And I can’t help but wonder: were elements of this version designed with one eye trained on the consoles to come? The scalability on show here goes significantly beyond additional precision in graphical effects – though obviously, you get that too.
Accessing the vast array of visual features in Gears 5 is a joy, thanks to one of the best settings screens I’ve come across. There’s an insane level of granularity to virtually every option, with all of them explained in terms of how they impact on system performance and what components of the system bear the brunt in ramping up the quality. This is backed up by preview illustrations showing you what the settings changes you’re considering actually make to the presentation – something I wish was a standard across the board.
In terms of how the experience is actually improved on PC, The Coalition ticks off the basics much beloved by PC users. The Xbox One X version tops out at a highly respectable 60fps, but the PC version can run with an unlocked frame-rate, with excellent CPU utilisation on many-core processors. This means that hitting a sustained 120fps/144pfs is very much down to your GPU and your settings selection – today’s CPUs should be more than equal to the task. On top of that is support for arbitrary resolutions and by extension, ultrawide monitors.